October 6, 2016 |

Charities and the Sharing Economy: A Path For Positive Change?

Charities and the sharing economy have been linked for some time now. Maybe that is because the sharing economy and the charitable sector has empowerment in common. But how much is the sharing economy going to change for the way that charities are working? There are already people out there trying to combine their entrepreneurial skills with charitable goals.

A way out of poverty?

Two of them are Indonesian GO-JEK and GrabBike which is a ride-sharing app for motorcycle transportation operating in Jakarta. Drivers can make well above the Indonesian minimum wage. In a heavily traffic congested city like Jakarta with ten million inhabitants, the market for ride-sharing drivers is in heavy demand.

The World Bank estimates that more than 28 million people live below the poverty line in Indonesia. Perhaps this an unintended and positive side-effect of the growing market for ride-sharing in the island nation. At the same time sharing economy apps like GO-JEK and GrabBike have the potential to transform millions of lives and change the socio-economic make-up of the country, resulting in better living standards.

Fighting Hunger, One Meal a Time

Another sharing economy platform is American Unsung, which uses the sharing economy to provide food for homeless people. You can use their app to deliver unused food and can also use it to become a food delivery driver.

From Sharing to Caring

Some sharing economy platforms also have a classic donation option at hand. CARMAnation has an option to donate the proceeds from renting out your parking space to one of five selected charities. Another platform, Listia, have already raised 50,000 USD through their charity programme.

StokeShare which is a peer-to-peer lending platform for action sports equipment have organised a charity project. They take inner city school children out surfing through their One Watershed programme. According to their website the programme teaches kids about water sports and also connects them with nature.

A New Approach to Charity?

The possibilities to fuse the sharing economy with charity work is only limited by creativity. To us it is very likely that supporting charity work through the sharing economy will in time become its own brand of Corporate Social Responsibility. There is no doubt that we are only seeing the beginning of a quickly developing bond between charity work and the sharing economy.